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Textured envelopes are known for capturing attention. Tactile elements get noticed right away – the texture can be felt as soon as the recipient removes the envelopes from the mailbox and sorts them.

One method to add texture to envelopes is through embossing. With embossing, envelope paper is stamped to create a raised effect in a pattern, text or an image. Embossing patterns can range from a repeated texture across an envelope’s surface to spot embossing on an indicia, back flap or other focused part of the envelope. Embossing can work in tandem with ink, foil or other finishing to enhance paper’s impact. With the 2022 USPS® incentives, some mailings with embossed envelopes could possibly qualify for a 4% discount under the Tactile, Sensory and Interactive promotion.

What is a Vertically Grooved Embossed Envelope?

One technique my customers frequently request is a grooved pattern that creates vertical channels, or indentations, onto the substrate of the mailpiece. Most frequently, the grooves run up and down the face of the converted envelope, resulting in a unique texture that some describe as looking like corrugated cardboard.

Tension creates this appearance with our TEN Groove envelopes. Using an attachment on our envelope printing and converting machines, the embossing occurs during the manufacturing process. One of our favorite grooved embossing tricks is to apply the colored inks only to the inside grooves, giving the envelope an extra spark and the paper a remarkable look, texture and feel.

When to Use a Vertically Grooved Embossed Envelope

Vertically grooved envelopes aren’t just for direct mail. Whether it’s a direct mail offer or a monthly bill, an envelope with vertical grooves will grab attention and increase its likelihood of being opened and responded to. For this reason, some mailers use TEN Groove envelopes to mail bills after previously unsuccessful attempts to collect on payment. To see some unique interpretations of a vertically embossed envelope, check out our Tension Design Group work.

TEN Groove – An Important Part of Tension’s History

Before TEN Groove, a type of pre-embossed paper called “Carnival Groove” was used for vertically embossed envelopes. It was cost prohibitive for many clients, prompting Tension’s engineering group to create a special set of rollers that allowed for “grooving” into the paper web during envelope production.

Contact Us

Want to learn more? Contact an expert at Tension today to discuss how our TEN Groove envelopes can help deliver the results you want for your direct mail or transactional mailpiece.